What to Do If There's No R.S.V.P. Date on the Wedding Invitation

No matter what, be sure to reply with plenty of time to spare

Updated 08/17/19

Anastasiia Photography

Being a prompt and prepared wedding guest isn’t too hard — unless the bride and groom leave out an important detail, of course! If you’ve received a wedding invitation that requests your reply, but doesn’t give a deadline, how long do you have to send in your R.S.V.P.? Our experts have the answer.

Most couples send out a wedding invitation using the same timeline: invitations mailed eight weeks in advance for a local wedding, and 12 weeks for a destination wedding. The R.S.V.P. deadline usually follows a similar pattern, giving guests around four weeks to receive their invitations and send back their reply. That sets the R.S.V.P. deadline to three to four weeks before a local wedding, and seven to eight weeks before a destination wedding.

If your invitation came without an R.S.V.P. by date, use that same timeline when sending back your reply. Count back from the date of the wedding, and be sure to mail your reply back with time to spare. If all goes well with the post office, this should give you a few weeks to arrange for any necessary days off from work, book a babysitter, or start planning your travel. Then you can send your R.S.V.P. card back when you’re sure you can attend and have started to make your arrangements.

While it’s uncommon, the invitation may not request a reply at all. In this case, you’re not required to let the bride or groom know you’ll be attending, but acknowledging that you’ve received the invitation and telling them whether or not you plan to attend is always welcome! It will help the hosts get a sense of how many guests to expect, as well as know whether the post office was able to deliver their invitations!

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